Travel Ideas

Beijing

The future of the world is being determined in places like Bombay and Beijing, god help us.

Beijing is China’s flagship and a damn well organised one at that. Now the darling of all the evil capitalist investors that the commies denounced for all the last half century, Beijing is growing into drab suburbs of grey factories and satanic mills, stocked with peasants from the countryside made to work in sweat shop slavery to produce consumer goods for the West.

Think about that the next time you, say, buy a pair of Nike trainers.

The traffic is absolutely relentless, there isn’t any wildlife in sight (the Chinese have eaten it all), the people are uptight and paranoid after 50 years of police state rule, the communist bureaucracy makes it incredibly hard to get the simplest thing done and on top of that, the Chinese have a superiority complex which makes them think they’re the best race on the planet. The traveler is an object of derision and scorn.

Still, there’s always hope that Beijing won’t last forever. The Gobi Desert is invading by several meters each year. When strong winds blow, the air in Beijing turns yellow with dust and sand and the city ends up looking like a bad photographic print from the 1920’s.

Business Week on Beijing Sweatshops